Day 1:Wednesday 28th August 2019: Arrive Paro
This unforgettable adventure begins in Paro, where you’ll arrive from your international flight, passing over spectacular mountain terrain. At 7,410 feet elevation, you can enjoy cool, clean air and 360-degree views of Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest and Mount Chomolhari. After meeting your guide check into your hotel and after lunch visit you’ll visit Ta Dzong – an old watch tower converted into the National Museum of Bhutan, Paro Dzong, Kyichu Monastery and later in the evening enjoy a stroll through the streets of Paro.
Overnight in Paro at Dewachen Resort & Spa or Gangtey Palace or similar.
Day 2:Thursday 29th August 2019: Excursion to Taksang Monastery, Paro- Thimphu
After breakfast depart for exciting hike to the Tiger Nest Monastery. The monastery, is perched some 2,000ft ,600m up on a sheer cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padmasambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. The hike is about 1 & 1/ 2 hours to the teahouse, from where you may either opt to go further uphill to the monastery for about 1 hour. Lunch is served at the tea house with the majestic views of Taktsang above and the Paro valley at the bottom.Arrive in Paro and visit a typical Bhutanese village home. This visit will certainly provide you an insight on living style of Bhutanese villagers with an opportunity to try Traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath and a cooking demonstration will be performed for you to get idea on how Bhutanese delicacies like BUTTER TEA and EMA DATSI are prepared.
Later in the evening drive to Thimphu and enjoy 30 minutes massage complimentary at Pedling Hotel & Spa , Thimphu.
Dinner in the Hotel, Overnight at Pedling Hotel & Spa or Hotel Galingkha
Day 4: Friday 30th August 2019: Thimphu- Finalize bike gear for race.
After breakfast we will have 1 hour meeting to discuss about our program, followed by medical checkup and also this will be our day to store bike cases, rent bikes or acquire any last minute bike gear at local bike shops prior to our drive to the start line.
In the afternoon practice biking in Bhutan and visit the following places
- Buddha Point to Changangkha trail,
- The Takin Reserve and return to the hotel.
- Dinner at Fu Lu Shou Chinese Restaurant
- Overnight in Thimphu at Pedling Hotel & Spa or Hotel Galingkha
Day 5: Saturday 31st August 2019: Sightseeing in Thimphu
After breakfast visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the Institute of Traditional Bhutanese Arts and Crafts, the institute of Traditional medicine, National Library and the Centenaray Farmers market. After lunch bike thorough the Wangditse- taba-Tago Cheri base trail and return to hotel.
Dinner in the Hotel & Overnight in Thimphu Pedling Hotel & Spa or Galingkha Hotel.
Day 6: Sunday 1st September 2019:Thimphu- Punakha
We will ride to Punakha through the most well known pass -Dochula Pass, located about 30 km away from the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. The 108 chortens at Dochula were built by one of the Queen Mother’s to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003. Though Bhutanese have wanted to build these chortens to mark the victory of the Bhutanese army, the King has rejected this offer and instead uses the chortens to commemorate the deceased. Lunch at Lobesa and in Punakha visit Punakha Dzong and Chimi lhakhang Monastery.
Dinner in the Hotel.
Overnight at Zhingkham Resort or Hotel Lobesa or Hotel Vara.
Day 7: Monday 2nd September 2019: Punakha to Phobjikha Valley area via Dochula Pass.
Once we leave Thimphu on our drive to the start line of the TOD, we will be heading backwards on the TOD course, so you will have an opportunity to experience the course in full while preparing for the race.
After breakfast ride towards Phobjikha Valley This valley is a broad glacial valley (10’000 ft) on the flanks of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha with it’s gently slope is a place of astonishing beauty described as” the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful country of Himalayas”. Every winter, the rare and beautiful black-necked cranes return from Tibet to the Gangtey valley where they are protected.
Gangtey also has a very interesting and ancient Nyingmapa monastery, the only one of its kind west of the Black Mountain range. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery( more than 450 years old). Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. Later in the evening join the monks for 1000 butter lamp offering and a prayer session to remove all obstructions, negative karma and wishing for peace & harmony of all sentient being on earth.
Dinner in the Hotel, Overnight at Phuntsho Chholing Lodge or Dewachen Hotel & Spa
(option to try Traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Herbal Bath at an extra cost)
Day 8: Tuesday 3rd September 2019: Drive from Phobjikha to Bumthang – The Race Site.
After breakfast you thave the option to ride your bike or hop onto the bus on a drive towards Bumthang. On our drive we can relax and enjoy more of the TOD route and Bhutan’s stunning geography. Just before the long horse shoe descent and ascent into Trongsa we’ll catch a view of the impressive Trongsa Dzong perched on a cliff-side across a huge chasm. This Dzong is one of the most magnificent works of traditional Bhutanese architecture in the country. The Dzong was originally built in 1644 and enlarged at the end of the 17th century. If we have time and a bit of energy we can then take a hike up the hill to the watch tower museum where we’ll get expansive views of the surrounding area.
- Lunch in Trongsa and continue towards Bumthang
- Yugharling Resort or
- Evening Relax in the Hotel
- Dinner in the Hotel
Day 9: Wednesday 4th September 2019: Bumthang
Bumthang Valley and the sprawling town of Jakar, is the location of the start of the Tour of the Dragon. In Bumthang visit Kurjee Monastery, Jampel Lhakhang and have Lunch in Bumthang Farm House and after llunch visit Cheese Factory factory and ride in and around bumthang town or relax in the Hotel.
Dinner in the Hotel. Overnight at Yugharling Resort
Day 10:Thursday 5th September 2019: Bumthang
After breakfast ride towards Tang valley and visit Maebar Tso and Tang Nunnery. We will join the nuns for a one hour chod program- a prayer or ritual performed to cut through the five defilements (anger,greed,ego,lust and attachement).
After lunch ride back to Bumthang to attend Riders Briefing from 3:00-5:00 PM with an audience with HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck [the exact time will be announced].
Dinner in the Hotel.Overnight at Yugharling Resort
Day 11: Friday 6th September 2019: Rest day in Bumthang
9:00 AM-1:00 PM Registration validation and race packet pick up in Bumthang
Venue: To be confirmed
2:00-5:00 PM Race-bag drop
Meet with His Royal Highness, the President of the Bhutan Olympic Committee, bike around town, and nap in preparation for late night start of the upcoming race.
Day 12: Saturday 7th September 2019 TOUR OF THE DRAGON START! Finish line in Thimphu.
12:00 AM Wake-up call
1:00 AM Report to start area, biking inspection and light breakfast for participants
2:00 AM RACE START (Flag off by Dasho Dzongdag)
3:00 AM Every rider is expected to cross Kiki La
7:30 AM Riders should cross Tshangkha by this time
9:00 AM Reach Chendepji
11:00 AM Reach Pele La
1:30 PM Riders should cross Wangdue check post
6:00 PM Final cut-off time at Dochula Pass. If you make it to Dochula by 6:00 PM you are allowed to continue to the finish line.
7:00 PM Awards ceremony at the Clock Tower Square, Thimphu
All awards will be given at the awards ceremony on September 7th, 2019 at 7:00 PM onward.
Venue: Clock Tower Square, Thimphu.
Tour of the Dragon cash purse and additional prizes will be offered to the participants.
Dinner in the Hotel. Overnight at Pedling Hotel & Spa in Thimphu.
Enjoy Complimentary 30 minutes Riders massage in the hotel spa.
Day13: Sunday 8th September 2019: Rest day and touring in Thimphu.
Today is our last day to shop or view a Thimphu highlight that we missed on our prior day here. Lots of options available.
- Breakfast in Thimphu
- Lunch in Thimphu
- Evening drive to Paro
- Farewell dinner with cultural program in Paro
- Ovenight at Dewachen Resort & Spa or Gangtey Palace or Similar Stadnard.
Day 14: Monday 9th September 2018: Paro Departures
After early breakfast at the hotel drive to Paro airport for your onward flight to leave Bhutan